NHL Hockey

4
Final 1 2 3 Tot
Minnesota 2 1 1 4
Buffalo 0 0 1 1
1
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00 BRT, November 19, 2019
KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York  Attendance: 15,522

Eichel looking for help as Sabres host Wild

Minnesota Wild at Buffalo Sabres

  1. Minnesota has gone 9-2-1 (.792) all-time in road games against Buffalo, its second-best road record against any opponent all-time (vs. Golden Knights, 3-0-0). Minnesota has outscored Buffalo 41-24 over these 12 games.
  2. Buffalo has allowed a power-play goal in five straight games while failing to score a power-play goal of its own. The last team with a longer streak of games allowing a power-play goal while failing to score any power-play goals was the Ducks in March 2014 (six straight).
  3. Minnesota has gone 3-10-0 on the road, 30th in the NHL (Kings). However, the Wild have scored 14 goals in their last four road games after scoring exactly 14 goals in their first nine road games this season.
  4. Eric Staal has failed to score a goal in any of his last nine games against the Sabres -- his only longer active goalless streak is against his current franchise (11 vs. Wild).
  5. Jack Eichel scored Buffalo's only goal on Sunday and has scored 22.4 percent of his team's goals this season (13/58), third highest in the NHL behind David Pastrnak (24.3) and Leon Draisaitl (22.9).
  6. When Carson Soucy scored his first career goal on Saturday, he became the 19th Minnesota player with a goal this season -- only Pittsburgh (21) has more. Still, no Wild skater has any more than six goals this season, the lowest mark by a team's leading goal-scorer this season.

The Buffalo Sabres struggled for offense as they split their two games over the weekend, but none of those struggles can be placed at the skates of captain Jack Eichel.

After scoring all five of his team's goals on Saturday and Sunday, Eichel will lead the Sabres as they host Minnesota on Tuesday in the Wild's sole visit to western New York this season.

The Sabres recorded a 4-2 home win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night, and the talk of the game was clearly the 23-year-old Eichel's first career four-goal outing.

After scoring twice in the second period as Buffalo led Ottawa 2-1, the Massachusetts native zipped in a wrister for his second career hat trick -- and first since Dec. 15, 2017 -- before adding an empty-netter with 14 seconds to play.

More important than Eichel's individual accomplishment, however, is what Saturday night's win ended.

The victory over the Senators, who are tied with Detroit with an Eastern Conference-low 17 points, snapped Buffalo's six-game losing streak.

The Sabres went 0-4-2 after recording a 2-0 win in Detroit over the Red Wings on Oct. 25 and are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games.

"We definitely, with the injuries, needed our best players to step up," Sabres coach Ralph Krueger told reporters after the win over Ottawa. "Jack showed a world-class performance today and just excellent leadership that I also told you he's been showing in the adversity of the last few weeks."

Buffalo lost 4-1 in Chicago on Sunday night with Eichel scoring the only goal, but the club played without winger Kyle Okposo, who was rocked by Senators defenseman Ron Hainsey the night before and sustained a concussion.

Okposo joined a growing list of injured Sabres forwards -- centers Tage Thompson, Marcus Johansson and Johan Larsson, plus winger Vladimir Sobotka.

Thompson left Sunday's game with an upper-body injury after being checked against the boards by Blackhawks defenseman Olli Maatta. The club announced Monday that Thompson will miss three to five weeks.

On the bright side, the Sabres are calling Zach Bogosian day-to-day as he appears close to making his season debut after undergoing his second hip surgery in as many years in April.

As for Minnesota -- which has a league-low 16 points -- the Wild rallied from a 3-1 deficit with a pair of second-period goals to force overtime against Carolina in a Saturday home matinee.

However, Hurricanes standout right winger Andrei Svechnikov ripped home the game-winning goal 93 seconds into overtime, though the Wild extended their home point streak to six games (4-0-2).

Minnesota has won consecutive contests just once in its 20 games, beating Montreal and Edmonton at home in late October.

"It's a work in progress until we find a way to win a game or two, and then it's amazing how the confidence builds positively rather than negatively," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau.

Minnesota plays four of its next five games on the road but returns to the Twin Cities to face the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday in the teams' second meeting.

In his last seven games, left winger Kevin Fiala has registered four goals and two assists while Zach Parise has three goals and three assists over the same period, including a short-handed marker against the Hurricanes.

Parise, 35, recorded his 100th power-play point as a member of the Wild in Thursday's 3-2 win over Arizona.

He became the sixth player and first Minnesota-born player to reach the milestone in franchise history.

--Field Level Media

Updated November 18, 2019

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